Six Canterbury companies could receive up to $20 million each in government research and development grants.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce yesterday announced more than $140m in new Research & Development Growth Grants was being awarded to 31 hi-tech New Zealand businesses.
Each company will receive up to $5m per year in funding over three years.
After two years, businesses can be granted a further two-year extension of funding.
If a business is eligible for the full four years, they could then receive up to $20m in grants.
The Canterbury grant recipients were ARANZ Geo, Dynamic Controls, Enatel, Jade Software, Skope Industries, and Tait.
To qualify, businesses must commit to spending at least $300,000, and 1.5 per cent of revenue, on research and development in New Zealand.
The grants are rules-based, so any company who meets the grant criteria will receive funding.
They provide 20 per cent public co-funding for qualifying firms' eligible research and development expenditure.
Joyce congratulated the first businesses to receive growth grants, which he said were strong and proven research and development performers.
"These companies have the potential to grow further and faster, through the innovation this support will foster," he said.
The funding cap this year increased to $5m per annum - up from the previous scheme's $2.4m.
The grants are administered by Callaghan Innovation, and were announced in Budget 2013.
A total of $566m is now available over four years ($141.5m a year) to encourage innovation through business research and development grant schemes.
ARANZ Geo created Leapfrog, a geological modelling software.
Dynamic Controls makes controls for powered wheelchairs.
Enatel produces standby power supplies for the telecommunications industry.
Jade Software is Christchurch's largest software firm.
Skope Industries designs and manufactures commercial refrigeration.
Tait Ltd makes communications hardware and software.
- The Press
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